Real estate has always been the hottest investment to put your Money into. No matter what the Property is, its value will always be increasing with time. It is also very tempting to put your money into the real estate due to the lucrative return. There is this common belief that once you have your money locked in a property, you don’t have to worry about the security of your financial future. However, there are people and companies that prey on this greedy instinct. There are cases where people have been so excited about their returns that they invest their money into properties they are not fully aware about. Here, the scammers take advantage and trick the customers into buying or renting properties. A real estate scam – be it rental or purchase, is always the easiest to commit as the baits would come directly to the hook. As the activity of similar Corporate Services require a longer and more elaborate procedure, rental scams are more common in the country. There have been several cases where the scammers have taken advantage of the buyer as well as the owner, and ticked people into renting properties for selfish reasons.
Here are a few examples of rental scams that have been prevailing in the country to rob the buyers off their incentive to increase the value of their investment:
Fake Vacant Houses
This is one of the most common rental scams to be committed in the country. Here, certain con-artists carry out an elaborate survey and break into the houses that are vacant. They then change the locks of the house and act as the owners or real estate brokers. Following this, they hunt on the prospective tenants of the house and try selling the property as if they have an authority over them. The sales pitch is brilliantly made and the victim is drawn into the trick by renting them the property. Generally, the deposit as well as the first month’s rent is taken from the tenant, after which the scammer runs away with the money and is nowhere to be found.
The Federal Trade Commission has always advised the customers to make sure that they are dealing with authentic sellers. If you are dealing with a property seller or broker, never deal with a person who cannot meet you in person. Watch out for all the potential ‘red flags’ that might lead to suspicion about the identity and purpose of the property dealer. Never make any payment before meeting the person and making sure that they are authorized to deal with the property. You should also check the deed registry before visiting your rental property. If you are dealing with an agent or a broker, ask for sufficient evidences proving that they are showing the property on behalf of the owner. Moreover, don’t forget to have a good background check on the landlord before you finalise the property even after all the other parameters are checked. You need to be extremely careful while dealing with the rental of these properties, as it may take a toll on both your personal as well as your financial life, and you’d never wish that to happen!
Moving Into a Property Just About To Get Foreclosed
Foreclosure of a property typically means that the property was bought with a borrowed sum of money and it has been confiscated due to the failure of repayment. Here, there may be certain owners of a property who want to accumulate extra funds before their property is foreclosed. This is a common way of borrowing money to buy a property, letting it to a tenant, gathering a decent amount of money and then running away if it is not possible to pay the debts. Always be wary of it before you enter into such a property. Though the tenants have a right to stay into a foreclosed property for 90 days, you would definitely end up in a cauldron of trouble by the time you realise that you have been a victim of a scam. Let alone the rent you have paid for all these months, you also have high chances of losing your security deposit. The only two ways of getting your lost money back are tracking down the owner who is responsible for the foreclosure or negotiating the terms with the new property owner.
The Hoax of Preventing Your Eviction
This scam is committed by fake legal organisations. The scammers act as working in a legal firm and call the tenants staying in a particular locality, telling them that their property has been foreclosed. In majority of the cases, the tenants believe them and ask the scammers to provide them with any option of not having to leave the premises. Cashing in on this advantage, the scammers disguised as law firms ask them to pay a regular amount as the fees to prevent them from having to leave the house. This is how the scammers get money out of your pockets by using scare tactics. Whenever you are shifting into a house as a tenant, make sure that the house is not up for foreclosure and you have sufficient proof for the same. Also, make sure if there is a proper legal authorisation of the firm they claim to work for. This would make you more secure and such fake calls would make no difference to you.
Issue of the Confiscated Deposit
It is normal to pay an amount to the landlord as a security deposit. This amount is generally supposed to be given back to you when you move out of the property. Though, this may not be as severe as other rental scams being committed in the country, there are some landlords that confiscate a part or whole of your deposit for no apparent reason. They would make up certain excuses with conviction and avoid paying you back you money. In order to prevent from getting scammed, you should have a visual record of all the damages you have been accused for during your period as a tenant. Have a proper list of them and also click pictures, if possible. At the time of getting your deposit back, show all these records to the landlord and calculate the final amount you are supposed to receive back. This would leave no scope for them to confiscate your money without having any solid reason, and you’ll rightfully get your deposit back.
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